First Advisor

Charles Heying

Term of Graduation

Spring 2008

Date of Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Public Administration and Policy


Public Administration




George Lakoff, Legislative Assembly -- Voting -- Oregon, Legislative Assembly -- Ethics -- Oregon, Conduct of life



Physical Description

1 online resource (x, 158 pages)


George Lakoff's theory of worldview presented in Moral Politics: How Liberals and Conservatives Think (2002) has been a topic of interest and discussion in certain political and academic circles. To date, however, it appears that no empirical test of his theory exists. In this dissertation, Lakoff's theory of worldview is explored, using the Oregon Legislature as a case study. A survey instrument to test his theory was created and administered to members of the 2005-2006 Oregon House of Representatives. Cluster analysis and chi-square analysis were used in the data analysis to examine how well Lakoff's theory explains politics. It was found that in many instances, legislators did cluster into two distinct groups, but in two instances, crime and the environment, they did not. In all of the chi-square tests, there was a very strong association between interest group ratings and the worldview scores of legislators. Overall, the results of this study support Lakoff's theory of worldview. This research provides a foundation for further study on the topic of worldview in general and Lakoff's theory in particular. A better understanding of worldview may assist those who study and participate in politics in many ways.


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